Tulsa, OK – Spring break will begin for area schools next week and Tulsa airport officials are preparing for the increased traffic. "Spring break is traditionally a popular time for travelers to take to the skies," said Alexis Higgins, director of marketing for Tulsa Airport Authority. The busiest travel days will be this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Passengers should arrive 90 minutes before their scheduled departure time for domestic travel and 2 hours early for international travel. Passengers departing on Sunday should also be sure to set their clocks an hour ahead to avoid inadvertently missing their flight. In preparation for the increase in passenger activity, airport officials, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the airlines serving Tulsa are working together to help travelers move smoothly through the terminal. We have put together the following travel tips to make traveling by air this holiday season go as smoothly as possible:
Before leaving for the airport ..
* Liquids and gels in containers larger than three ounces should be packed in checked luggage.
* Liquids and gels in containers smaller than three ounces may be packed in carry-on bags, as long as the following conditions are met:
o The containers are 3 ounces or less.
o All containers must fit into one quart sized or smaller Ziploc bag.
o Passengers are limited to one bag.
* Travelers may carry on board one bag that fits in the overhead bin or under the seat, plus one personal item. Personal items include things such as purses, briefcases or laptops. A list of permitted and prohibited carry-on items is available at www.tsa.gov.
* Valuables including cameras, jewelry, documents, prescription medicine, and car keys should be placed in your carry-on luggage and kept with you at all times.
* Suitcases should be properly labeled on the exterior and interior of the bag with the passenger's name and cell phone number.
* Passengers should have the address of their hotel or final destination available should their suitcase be delayed. This will need to be given to the airline so the bag can be delivered upon its arrival.
* All passengers (other than minors) are required to present a government issued photo ID. International travelers of any age must have a passport and other required documents. Passengers should make copies of these documents and carry an extra set with them or electronically scan them and e-mail a copy to themselves to have available should their original identification be lost or stolen.
* Many airlines now allow passengers to check in for their flight up to 24 hours prior to its scheduled departure. Passengers should check with their airline's website for additional information.
* Passengers should plan to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to their scheduled departure time for domestic flights and two hours early for international flights. Passengers should also verify the airport arrival times for their return flights as some airports experience lengthier delays.
At the airport ..
* Passengers have three convenient parking options when traveling from TUL - garage, economy, and valet. Travelers in a rush or wanting to avoid inclement weather will have the option of dropping their cars off at a curbside valet kiosk with direct access to the airline ticket counters.
* Passengers can reduce their time in line at the ticket counters by utilizing self-service check-in machines. Most of the airlines at TUL now offer this service at their ticket counters. These machines allow passengers to print boarding passes, check luggage, select or change seats, and purchase upgrades.
* When approaching the security checkpoint, passengers should have their government issued photo ID or passport available with their boarding pass. To expedite time through the security screening process, slip on shoes are recommended. All shoes and jackets must be removed and screened. All laptops, portable DVD players or large electronic items must be removed from their cases and placed into their own bin. Passengers should place keys, cell phones, pagers, and loose change in their carry on bags before getting in the security line.
* Because of TSA security restrictions regarding liquids, passengers should plan on purchasing their beverages after clearing security. TUL now has five shops and seven restaurants (including Starbuck's) available for passengers in the secure area.